Thursday, January 22, 2009

Homemade Thai Tofu curry


I was forwarded this interesting article by my BIL and found it very interesting. It is about how to give your kitchen a fresh start this new year, as the author says. And I feel there are quite many good tips which I have always followed, but some which I feel I need to do. There are some things which are easy if you make it a habit, which is initially difficult, but once you are into it and you don't need to give it a thought, it just happens on its own. Things which may appear too long and cumbersome, but aren't really so. I always believe, that it is all in our minds, this cumbersomeness. I remember during my times at the Botanical Institute where I worked and sometimes heard students say the same about all the experiments which had to be done and this was always my answer, it is all in your mind. You just need to get the feel of it and get used to it. Don't you think so too?
Things like preparing the vegetable broth at home by just cooking up some carrots and celery on the side isn't so time consuming or cumbersome if we just plan it ahead. Once we get used to it, we wouldn't find it impossible. I can so easily prepare a day before and use it the next day, for example. And this is one thing I want to start this year, making my own vegetable broth.

Now coming to the recipe, I was inspiered by the Thai curries made by Bee and Jai at Jugalbandi to finally make my own as well and not just keep "thinking" about it. So, this is a rough estimate of how I made it. I just used the amounts I felt appropriate at that moment. And my curry is my own modified version from different recipes to suit our family taste :

Tofu in Thai curry

Recipe by PG of My Kitchen Stories

Ingredients:

300 g firm Tofu (I used organic tofu from my local store), cubed
2 small carrots, peeled and cut into thin slices
1/2 large red bell peppers, cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 small Italian aubergine, cut into small pieces (optional)
1 zucchini, cut into thick slices
1 yellow onion, peeled and cut into pieces
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped or grated
1/2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
1/2 tsp coriander seeds, ground
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
4-5 keffir lime leaves, slit on both sides of the midveins without breaking into smaller pieces
1 lemon grass, green cut intolarge pieces and the white part crushed
2/3 can coconut milk, shaken before opening
a few dashes fish sauce (optional)
salt to taste
oil for frying
3-4 tbsp Thai curry paste of choice (I used home made*)
1/2 a bunch of Thai basil, leaves only
a handful of corianer leaves (cilantro), chopped

Method:
  • In a large sauté pan heat some oil and fry the tofu pieces turning carefully only once till golden in colour on both sides. take out and set side
  • Clean the pan and in some oil fry the onion, garlic and ginger along with coriander- and turmeric powders
  • Add the aubergine, fry for a few minutes on medium heat
  • Then add carrots, fry for another few minutes and add bell pepper and fry further covered, add little salt. Once the aubergine is almost done, remove from pan and set aside
  • Fry zucchini for short till it gets a golden brown surface (optional) or add it directly to the curry later
  • Heat oil or coconut milk in the same pan or a small frypan and fry the curry paste on medium heat till it gets golden brown. Add some coconut milk in between so that it doesn't burn
  • In the sauté pan put back all the vegetables and tofu and add salt, fish sauce and coconut milk along with the fried currry paste. Mix and cook on medium low -it should be bubbling slowly for about 10 minutes covered till the curry looks done.
  • Add water, if required, in between
  • Add the Thai basil leaves and cover lid again for a couple of minutes
  • Before serving garnish with the cilantro leaves and serve along with steamed rice

* My recipe of Thai curry paste:

Ingredients:

Roast separately and grind together:
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds

1 lemon - organic or unsprayed, the zest and its juice
1" piece ginger, peeled and grated finely
1" piece galangal, peeled and grated finely
4 large garlic cloves, chopped finely or grated
2 small red onion or shallots, chopped - (I left it out)
4-6 keffir lime leaves, chopped
2 lemon grass, the white part only, chopped
a few dashes fish sauce (optional)
1/4 tsp turmric powder (or use fresh turmeric, peeled and grated)
1/4 tsp shrimp paste (optional)
1 green chilli, seeded and chopped -(increase quantity to taste)

Method:
  • roast the dry spices and let cool down before grinding
  • prepare the wet ingredients and mix with dry ground spices and grind everything to a paste
  • use fresh or freeze in portions of 2-4 tbsp, as required
NOTE: the shrimp paste and fish sauce cn be left out or replaced with fermented bean pastes, if you prefer it that way or just leave it out.

I have been too lazy to make this again, but this was a wonderful thing to do as I could use as much of the paste as I wanted without worrying about its hotness, so sunny boy could eat it easily. I don't think I need to tell any of you who eat Thai food, how delicious such curries are and so was this one too. I loved the richness of flavours in Thai curries and even though I felt that it was somehow different from the packaged ones, I was happy with the results. I love Thai basil, it's aroma, and I even had coriander leaves which made the dish perfect for me.

I'm sending this recipe to DK's a very interesting event series AWED: the theme this time being Thailand at DK's Culinary Bazaar.


Other similar recipes from other bloggers:

Thai Yellow Curry with Seafood at Rasa Malasia
Thai Red Curry (Gaeng Daeng) at Jugalbandi

15 comments:

Priya said...

Wow Pg, just this tofu curry makes me hungry...lovely dish na!! am a great addict to thai curries n wish i could have them rite now..Great job..

Vaishali said...

I do love Thai curry with tofu in it, and I also make my own green curry paste, although it's a little different. This does look delicious, PG.

Ivy said...

I have never tried tofu before but with all those other ingredients it must be delicious.

Vaidehi said...

I love tofu curry.. whenever I go to Thai restaurant, I go for this curry. Nice pic and nice recipe .thanks for sharing..

chakali

Soma said...

Sounds really beautiful PG. I always back off from THai thinking fish sauce. but there is so much more to it:-) & i loe Tofu.

A_and_N said...

A loves Tofu :D bookmarked.

delhibelle said...

I adore thai..and I'm craving green curry now!

bindiya said...

soooo healthy and delicious.lovely recipe!

anudivya said...

That is quite a long list of ingredients PG, but I love anything thai and tofu! Looks so dainty too.

Usha said...

I love Thai cuisine and this curry looks delightful....I would love to give this a try :-)

francesca said...

This recipe sounds wonderful, i need to prepare it for my husband, he loves tofu.
Thanks for sharing your original idea!

Curry Leaf said...

Love the green curry PG dear.I make my own paste which I found not so hot,but comforting.Looks lovely.
I agree with you,its in our mind,once we let go of that feeling,we can achieve so many things.Love that you are plannin to make own broth.I too make my own based on veganyumyums broth but adding very little spices and salt only.

bee said...

i love your simplified curry paste. the end result looks delicious.

DK said...

Nothing like a simplified version of Thai curry paste fused together with Tofu. So comforting. Thanks for sending it my way for AWED.

Annarasa said...

I love your home made curry paste, and the end result really justifies the effort:)

Apu